Woman with U-Haul Full of Dogs Pleads Guilty to Animal Cruelty
(SOMERVILLE, TN) A California woman pleads guilty to several counts of animal cruelty after driving a U-Haul full of dogs across country.
Bonnie Sheehan and her passenger were pulled over on Interstate 40 in Fayette County when officers found the horrifying scene back in January.
When rescue workers saw the dogs and cat found in the back of this U-Haul they cried because the scene was so awful, and Sheehan accepts all the responsibility for condition of the animals.
Tammy Miller is a dog foster parent in Fayette County.
“I`ve had as many as six or eight dogs at one time and I know if you`re looking at one face to face it`s hard to turn one away if you know it`s going to be put to sleep,” said Miller.
She says dogs like Shiloh make it all worth it. Miller says she understands how someone could become obsessed with taking in animals. Back in January Bonnie Sheehan and Pamela King-McCracken were caught transporting one hundred and thirty one dogs packed in the back of a U-Haul from California to Virginia.
The animals were found in inhumane conditions during the Fayette County stop.
Veterinarian Glenn Weatherly saw some of those dogs after they were rescued.
“I saw them sometime after. For the most part some of them may have been a little on the thin side by Fayette County Rescue had already done so much with them,” said Weatherly.
Sheehan pleads guilty to fourteen charges of animal cruelty. She also says her passenger King-McCracken had nothing to do with it.
Sheehan could have faced fourteen years in jail but she became eligible for immediate parole because she doesn`t have any criminal history before now.
Fayette County District Attorney General Mike Dunavant says Sheehan may not have the max punishment, but justice is being served.
“We felt like she accepted criminal responsibility. She was in fact an eligible offender for a lesser sentence. So that`s going to be on her record and hopefully we can supervise her,” said Dunavant.
In addition to her two-year supervised probation Sheehan is not allowed to have any animals and must pay a $500 fine. Her supervised probation over the next two years will take place at her home in California.
Dunavant says Sheehan’s passenger Pamela King-McCraken is off the hook because Sheehan took all the responsibility and under Tennessee state law just because you have the ability to stop animal abuse doesn’t mean you are required to. Most of the rescued dogs have found a home.